There’s a lack of range in Nevada’s hashish trade, particularly in possession

Nevada’s first official cannabis company demographic survey reveals that women and minorities make up a smaller percentage of the local marijuana industry than their general representation in the state – particularly when it comes to ownership and management.

Women make up nearly 50% of Nevada’s residents, according to the US Census Bureau, but the state-mandated survey found that only 38% of cannabis professionals have been identified as female.

This inequality increases when ownership and board membership are considered. 81% of the representatives on company boards were male, with 72% of the owners / managers also identifying themselves as male.

Women found more opportunities than employees or consultants, which is 40% of those positions.

The pattern was similar when looking at the race.

Employees and consultants tended to be more diverse, while owners and managers were mostly identified as white.

According to the survey, the percentage of non-white owners was 35%, which is less than the entire non-white population in the state.

Nevada is nearly 50% white according to the latest census figures. The population is 48% white, 29% Hispanic, 9% black and 8% Asian.

Nevada’s current cannabis regulations are limited when it comes to promoting diversity among business owners, and while there has been discussion of how to improve social justice, significant obstacles must be overcome to promote inclusion.

For example, recreational cannabis licenses in Nevada are limited and expensive, and applicants must demonstrate they have at least $ 250,000 in cash in order to earn higher scores for a permit.

The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board conducted and published the survey report, which is now an annual requirement following the passing of Bill 533 at the end of the 2019 legislature.

The Compliance Board, which was set up under the same law and started operations in the summer, while having no open licensing rounds, has indicated that it will take into account the diversity of applicants and veteran status when issuing future permits.

The survey asked people who issued agent cards as of January 2020 – including those involved in cultivation, manufacturing, testing, retailing, and distribution – based on gender, race, age, and education.

Of the 9,890 potential respondents, almost 50% returned the survey within the two-week response period.

However, almost 100% of industry executives responded.

In the combination of owners, board members, officers, employees and consultants, the survey found:

  • 58% as male versus 38% as female.
  • 53% as white versus 10% as black.
  • 24% said they were Hispanic, Latino, or Hispanic ancestry.
  • 44% said they were 25-34 years old.

Of the respondents in total:

  • 49% were in retail.
  • 42% were cultivated.
  • 28% were in production.
  • 12% were connected to a cannabis distribution facility.
  • 7% were in the test.
  • 8% were other employees.

The Compliance Board said it will refine the survey process, but it hopes the initial data will provide a basis for the future.

The agency is also setting up a pilot program to identify opportunities for emerging small cannabis companies to participate in the marijuana industry.

Andrew Long can be contacted at [email protected]

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